Otolaryngologist Angelo Consiglio, MD, serves as the Southwest Florida representative for Golden Heart Senior Care, which provides daily in-home care and assisted-living placement for elderly individuals. In this role, Dr. Angelo Consiglio advocates for high-quality support of people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other mental and physical health challenges.
When a person is struggling with the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s disease, compassionate care and communication can have a significant impact. The opportunity for a meaningful connection has the potential to improve mental outlook significantly, particularly for those individuals who may feel left behind, due to a declining condition. Even the simple act of looking such an individual in the eye, addressing him or her by name, and asking a basic question, such as “Would you like some tea?,” can make a person feel like part of the world again.
When making such a connection, the conscientious caregiver understands that a patient may have difficulty finding words, describing objects, or maintaining a logical train of thought. By taking time to listen to the speaker, without interrupting or attempting to finish his or her sentences, the caregiver can communicate patience as well as a sense of acceptance. Experts note that it is equally important to validate the person’s world view, whether or not the facts are correct, and to support understanding through nonverbal and visual cues.